Japan's Nippon Shokubai moves solvent-based acrylic resin production

25 April 2012 14:55  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS)--Japanese chemical producer Nippon Shokubai plans to end production of its solvent-based acrylic resin at Suita, Osaka, and transfer it to a factory in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture, to increase the competitive edge of its acrylic acid derivatives business, the company said on Wednesday.

The purpose of the transfer to its subsidiary Nippon Polymer Industries is to consolidate production of the resin on one site and improve manufacturing efficiency, Nippon Shokubai said in a statement.

The nameplate capacity of the plant at Suita, in the Kansai region of Japan’s main island of Honshu, is 10,000 tonnes/year, but it currently produces 2,000-3,000 tonnes/year of the product, a company official said on the phone.

That lower amount of production capacity will be transferred to Himeji, according to the official, where an existing plant which already produces a small quantity of the product will be upgraded.

Nippon Shokubai expect the transfer to take about a year to be completed, the official said, during which time the Suita plant will continue to produce solvent-based acrylic resin.

The consolidation of production at the Himeji plant would increase efficiency, the official said.

“It will also be more convenient because the feedstock of acrylic resin, acrylic ester, is produced [at Nippon Shokubai’s complex] in Himeji [located at the same site as the Nippon Polymer’s plants],” the official said.

“If solvent-based acrylic resin is produced at Himeji, we will not have to transport acrylic ester all the way [60 miles] to Suita from Himeji.”

Nippon Shokubai sells acrylic ester to Nippon Polymer, which also produces an undisclosed quantity of water-based acrylic resin, sometimes known as acrylic emulsion, at Himeji, according to the official.

“With the transfer, [Nippon Polymer] will also be able to produce solvent-based acrylic resin in addition to water-based acrylic resin,” the official said.

However, the production quantity of water-based acrylic resin at Himeji would still be more than solvent-based acrylic resin even after the transfer, the official added.

There is generally higher demand for water-based acrylic resin than the solvent-based product in recent years, according to the official, “but there are types [of acrylic resin] that cannot be produced using water. We produce such special grades,” the official said.

Nippon Polymer is a joint venture between Nippon Shokubai and Toyo Ink.

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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